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His arm tightens around me pulling me close against him. His naked skin against my back is hot and dry and downed with hair, and his hand on my ribcage is firm. His other hand brushes the hair away from my neck, and he kisses me there, once, lightly.

”Merry Christmas, my love” he whispers in my ear and I smile. Four days alone with him is an almost unimaginable treat, with the few people who know how to reach us instructed to do so in dire emergencies only. It will be a very merry Christmas indeed.

I laugh, and wriggle against him, deliberately provocative and he mutters “Witch” as he groans and pushes even closer against my back.

With another wriggle I’m facing him, kissing him hard, drinking him in.

Our lovemaking is savage and urgent. After six weeks apart, we are simply feeding the addiction we have for each other, sating the needs of our bodies before our spirits. Later, the gentleness can come.

And an addiction, it is. While our relationship isn’t exclusive, there is something we get from each other, both physically and emotionally, that other people just don’t seem to give us. It’s inexplicable, and profound, and often quite painful, but it’s a habit we haven’t been able to break, and believe me, we’ve tried.

But enough of that.

It’s bruising, and brutal and harsh. No endearments whispered, no tender touches. Just a greedy, uncivilised gorging where we simultaneously punish each other for our absence and cram ourselves full of each other to prepare for the next famine. We’re like beggars at a feast.

It leaves us drained, and shattered emotionally, the desperation being so obvious.

So after, we rest, allowing ourselves now the luxury of calm. He caresses my face, and his lips brush over my eyes.

”You know how much I love you?” he asks.

”Almost as much as I love you,” I answer as I twist a lock of his fair hair around a finger. His eyes are hazel, and mysterious, and I get lost in their shadows. Nobody writes poems in praise of hazel eyes, but that must be because they have never taken the time to watch the colours shifting in them.

We talk, quietly, catching up on the news, glossing as always, over the parts of our lives that concern others, and planning how to spend the next few days. Gradually voices fade, and we make love again, but slower, softer and sweeter this time, and at last he sleeps.

I lie, listening to the sound of the waves on the beach outside, and his breathing, deep and even, as I hold him with his head pillowed on my breast. The breeze moves the curtain, and my hand, almost unconsciously, strokes his hair. I give a contented sigh, and let my eyes drift closed, waiting, happy, for sleep to take me.

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